War & Peace
‘Douche du Jour’: Wayne Bell’s ‘Patriotic’ 9/11 Coloring Book Full of Bigotry & Lies
A Missouri publisher has raised eyebrows over a children’s coloring book commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, ABC News reports.
Wayne Bell, publisher of St. Louis-based Really Big Coloring Books, has just released “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: Kids’ Book of Freedom,” a PG-rated ‘patriotic’ commemoration of the events of a decade ago. Bell says the book is a memorial tribute. It is also “an informational piece to help educate children on events on 9/11,” he told ABC News.
The book begins with Osama bin Laden plotting to attack America and ends with him being assassinated by U.S. Navy SEALs. Children can color in the World Trade Center, George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden and other 9/11-related imagery.
Bell calls the book “a simplistic, honest tool.”
But it is anything but honest.
The book depicts Osama bin Laden hiding behind one of his wives when he was shot. Although initial reports of the assassination said he was using a wife as a human shield, Obama administration officials later backed away from that claim.
But more important than even those kind of details was the overall message of the children’s book: “Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating Islamic extremists,” the book says. “These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Terrorists do not attack America because they hate our freedoms, they do so because of how the United States actively deprives them of the very freedoms it claims to champion. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, one of the most brutal dictatorships and least free countries on the planet. The United States backs the Saudi monarchs with billions of dollars in arms and political support on the world stage. Weapons provided by the United States are used to brutally repress the Saudi people, who face arrest, torture and execution for a litany of “crimes” big and small.
It’s not just Saudi Arabia; the U.S. backs the Bahraini monarchy even as it tortures and murders pro-democracy demonstrators, the doctors who treat them and even schoolgirls as young as 12. The U.S. also backs undemocratic regimes in Morocco, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Pakistan and, until recently, Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt.
And let’s not forget the elephant in the room– Israel. Unflinching American support for Israeli ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the form of $3 billion in annual military aid to the racist, apartheid Jewish state has spawned untold legions of terrorists.
Far from supporting freedom in the Muslim world, the United States has gone to great lengths to crush it. Let us not forget that the U.S. was the main backer of Saddam Hussein, until he stopped following Washington’s orders. American aid flowed generously to the bloody dictator even after President Reagan learned that he has used chemical weapons (the components of which were sold to him by the freedom-loving USA) on his own people. It was only when Saddam threatened the stability of the world’s oil supply by invading Kuwait that President Bush the First finally turned his fury on his erstwhile ally.
Of course, it’s much easier and politically acceptable to say the terrorists “hate us for our freedoms.” George W. Bush and his ilk used such black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us speech to their great advantage in whipping Americans into a frenzied state of post- 9/11 bloodlust. The problem is, it’s simply not true.
Even worse than this (intentional?) historical misrepresentation is the bigotry that oozes from the pages of the children’s book. “It’s disgusting,” Dawud Walid of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) told ABC News, pointing to the fact that Muslims in the book are almost always referred to as terrorists and extremists. There is an image of a mourning woman, Christian cross hanging from a chain around her neck.
“Muslim mothers lost sons too,” Walid told ABC News.
“Little kids who pick up this book can have their perceptions colored by those images… it instills bias in young minds,” he said.
But Bell stands by his book, which he calls “an honest depiction.”
“The truth is the truth,” he told ABC News. “It’s unfortunate that they were all Muslim and that’s the part people want to erase… I don’t know what else you can call them,” he added.
Either Wayne Bell is ignorant about the true causes of terrorism, or he is intentionally painting a wildly inaccurate picture of the motives behind the detestable and horrific 9/11 attacks in order to appeal to a base patriotism and sell lots of coloring books as the tenth anniversary of the day that changed America fast draws near. Either way, by creating a children’s book that is full of violence, lies and bigotry, Bell is contributing to the cycle of hatred and abusing the very freedom of speech that he claims to love so dearly. For this, he is our Daily Douche.
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